The top of the South Island of New Zealand has rapidly become a destination for backcountry cyclists. Like all good ideas, this one, to ride the Old Ghost Road and Heaphy Track in one grand loop, was thrown about over a few beers in a bike shop in Richmond, Nelson. Two riders, Damian Stones and Erik Hall completed this 6-day adventure in mid-winter on gravel bikes. Recent snowfalls, and a first bike packing trip for Erik, made this journey all the more challenging.
The Heaphy track is one of the iconic backcountry trails in New Zealand and we are lucky enough to have this in our backyard. Come along on a journey through the Heaphy with us. As a family we try to do this once a year, this year only 3 of us made it, but it was still as memorable as ever.
This year's family trip on the Heaphy Track was just Zack and I over a couple of days in the middle of the winter. The Heaphy track is always a special trip with my kids, really rewarding to see them grow and progress on each trip. Each time we take them through we always talk about sections of the trail they have had challenges on, like the first time Zack cleaned the notoriously slippery coal seam (RIP), or highlights like getting to the Heaphy hut or reaching the tops of major climbs... but mostly we end up talking about food.
The May-June issue of Mountain Bike Australia magazine has just been published with my feature on the Nydia Track. Grab a cuppa and check out the behind the scenes images, stories and maps of my trip back in December of this iconic track. Cheers to The Mailboat and On the Track Lodge for making this trip happen. Also cheers to Virginia for taking some cracking shots.
I'm always keen to get into the Backcountry, but then reality gets in the way to fit in that epic multi-day trip! We are lucky in Nelson to have a lot of options to get your back country fix without going far. New for me on this trip was my ACR ResQlink Personal locator beacon from SAR Dynamics. I couldn't be more happier about this, to have the support from SAR Dynamics is fantastic.
Recently I had a quick weekend trip to ride the Queen Charlotte track as a shake-down for an upcoming multi-day backcountry trip. I wanted to test some systems out on the bike and try out the Stealth 'Heaphy Harness' and to get my head and legs into bikepacking mode.
My First New Year's trip was to the Kill Devil Track, one of Golden Bay's iconic backcountry trails. Mechanic extraordinaire Gazza and I have been talking about this trip for a while.
I was recently invited by a back country shredder of mine Rhys Palmer and a bunch of his mates on a trip to the Craigieburn region and Mt Oxford and it was an offer I could not refuse. The reputation of this area ranges from the Mt Oxford technical alpine tussock single track through to tight and steep beech forest and the fast and flowy
This has been on my list to do - an overnight stay at Rocks Hut in the Richmond Forest Park. The trip involved riding up to Coppermine Saddle (stashing the bikes in the bush) followed by a 1.5 hr walk into the hut over Dun Saddle.